Commissioners pick and choose who to tax

Re: Hernando commissioners will enforce, park, boat and ramp fees after all 

I have a question for the County Commissioner. Why are you willing to enforce user fees on your constituents put in place last year which is a form of taxation, a consumption tax on community activities which fall under the heading of infrastructure amenities and are willing to give fee breaks to the building industry? In November of 2009 the county commissioners lowered impact fees to 2001 rates of $4,800 from 2009 rates of $9,200 and extended those lower fees to November 2011 in November 2010. Theses reductions were made to stimulate employment growth in the building industry when Hernando unemployment was 14.6%. Today as of the latest Bureau of Labor and Statistics report that rate is 15.2%, so much for stimulating job growth. There were 199 permits issued in 2010 because of the reduced impact fees Hernando County revenues were reduced by $875,600 (199 times $4,400 ) adding to the current budget deficits. 

These amenities Parks, and Boat Ramps are a direct result of increased population growth and are directly associated with constituent needs created by construction and development in Hernando County. These government amenities provide a community service which enhances the quality of life in Hernando. 

Most residents believe or should understand that these amenities were already paid for when they first purchased their homes as part of their purchase cost of their home which included impact fees collected by builders, and developers. Most residents believe or understand that their annual payment of real estate taxes to the general fund should cover the costs to maintain these same amenity services. 

The current administrator and commissioners proposed solutions are to increase fees and transfer reserves to deficit areas of the budget as a means to save jobs and balance the budget. The county commission has approved an additional $3,000,000 transfer out of reserves for 2011 to help balance an estimated $7,000,000 deficit and a $3,000,000 transfer in 2012 to assist in balancing the 2012 budget. All of these are proposals are based on anticipated revenue shortfalls in those years. Why don’t you reinstate the impact fee to $9,200 to raise revenues?

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